Kalevala Mythology

Expanded Edition
Translated and edited by Ritva Poom

Juha Y. Pentikäinen

297 Pages, ISBN 978 0 253 21352 5     
Published by Indiana University Press, 1999     

The Kalevala, created during the 1830s and 1840s, is based on folklore collected and compiled by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884). It was the Kalevala that initiated the proces leading to the foundation of Finnish identity during the nineteenth century, thus influencing the formation of Finland as a nation. The Kalevala sheds light on the general process involved in the formation of other epics, such as the Niebelungenlied, the Edda, and the Homeric epics.
Pentikäinen's contribution to the study of international epic is relevant to the field of classics, comparative literature, social history, and, of course, anthropology and folkloristics.

Juha Y. Pentikäinen, Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Helsinki, has published numerous articles and twenty books. He has won two major folklore prizes: the Chicago Folklore Prize (1978) for Oral Repertoire and World View, and the Pitré Folklore Prize (1990) for the first edition of Kalevala Mythology.

Ritva Poom writes about Finnish and Estonian culture. Her translations of Finnish and Estonian literature and ethnography have appeared in Literary Review, Scandinavian Review, Drama Review, and Ethnologia Fennica. Her translation Fog Horses received an award from the Columbia University Translation Center. She is the translator of Estonian Short Stories and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Pentikäinen's exceptional interdisciplinary study will richly reward those interested in the dynamics of artistic creation and cultural construction, ethnic emergence and political nationalism, and shamanistic belief systems."
- Robert Jarvenpa, American Anthropologist

"Kalevale Mythology is fluently translated by Ritva Poom and is expertly and imaginatively illustrated. Folklorists and mythologists are indebted to Pentikäinen for an informative and stimulating book."
- Martin Puhvel, Ethnohistory

(The text above comes from the back of the book)     

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